Florida boy, 11, recovering after being struck by lightning

RIVERVIEW, Fla. — An 11-year-old Florida boy is recovering after being struck by lightning near a boat ramp Thursday afternoon, authorities said.

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Emergency crews were dispatched to a boat ramp near Williams Park in the Tampa suburb of Riverview at about 4:07 p.m. EDT, WTSP-TV reported.

Update 6:50 a.m. EDT July 2: Levi Stock was in critical condition when he was taken to an area hospital, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue spokesperson Rob Herrin told the Tampa Bay Times. Stock is in stable condition and recovering, the family’s pastor, Daniel Butson, said Friday.

The Stock family was boating near Pine Key in Tampa Bay on Thursday afternoon. The boat was about 100 feet from the dock when Lightning struck Stock, knocking him off the boat and into the water, Butson told the newspaper.

" I was talking to his dad. He says it looked like a Mike Tyson knockout,” Butson told WTVT. “I mean, his body just went overboard and he began to sink underwater,” Butson said.

The Stock family’s boat was damaged by the lightning strike, Butson told the Times.

Original report: Officials with Hillsborough County Fire Rescue said the child was taken by ambulance to an area hospital, according to the television station.

“Something told me to look up, and when I did, I mean, it was so fast, so quick,” witness Debbie Daniels told WTVT. “It was just unbelievable.”

Daniels told the television station she was sitting near the boat ramp that leads to the Alafia River when she saw a flash of lightning over the water.

“There was somebody sitting straddling him and pushing and pushing and pushing and trying to get his heart started,” Daniels told WTVT. “And I hit my knees and started praying and crying and oh, my God, it was terrible.”

Authorities did not immediately reveal the child’s age or any further details, WFLA-TV reported.

Thursday’s lightning strike came days after the U.S. Coast Guard rescued seven people from a boat in Clearwater. On Monday, a home caught fire after being struck by lightning in St. Petersburg.

The United States recorded 11 lightning strike deaths in 2021, according to the National Lightning Safety Council. Florida led the nation with four lightning-related fatalities last year, the agency reported.